June 6, 2017

Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie

Chez Christophe is located in the Burnaby Hastings area just east of Willingdon.  It’s a cozy little neighborhood with newer condos built in the surrounding area. 

They got a small outdoor seating area, however the morning sun was just too bright this morning.  Too bad they didn’t have table umbrellas up for the tables.  Luckily they had plenty of comfortable seating indoors including a few at the counter if you want to chat with the baristas.

We got here on a weekend morning just when it opened.  Just when you walk in you will smell the aroma of  freshly baked goods.This place serves some high end looking French style pastries including different croissants macaroons, beverages, and of course, chocolates!

Pastry Selection:

Chocolate Selection:

Maybe it was still too early but there wasn’t a big selection of macaroons so no pictures unfortunately.

We ordered a small latte.  The barista as you can see is quite an expert with the latte art.

The drink itself was not strong enough for my liking though.  It didn’t have enough acidity for me.  I still enjoy the ones served at Caffe Artigiano.

This is their basil berry tea.  It’s quite a fresh looking iced tea. It’s unsweetened and really does have many pieces of basil inside.

We also ordered this apple pastry.  It is like a cross between an apple strudel and a croissant.

It was very crispy on the outside, just like the the croissants you get in Paris.  The apple filling inside was also very tasty and was not overly sweet.

The service here was very good and the prices were very reasonable.  Too bad it was too early in the morning to try more of the other good looking sweets and pastries.  Definitely we will be interested to come back at a later date to try more.

SFDD gives 4 out of 5 Delights.

Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

May 13, 2017

Ramen Danbo - Robson St

While taking a stroll down Robson St, we got a little hungry and noticed a line up of people outside a rather new ramen shop.  We decided to give it a try since the line up was not too long.

Danbo’s menu:

If you are ordering ramen, you have many options to choose from compared to other ramen shops.  Here, you must choose the denseness of noodles, the thickness of soup and noodles, even the fattiness of the pork and soup, and finally the spiciness.

We started off with gyoza:

The gyoza was pan fried to a light crisp.  It has pork filling and was done quite well.

This is the classic ramen:

For the options, we chose normal for everything.  The soup was very good and not overly salty.  The noodle texture was perfect while the pork was very tender.  If you are craving for more, you can request more noodles for a small charge:

We enjoyed our visit to Danbo because the food was great and also the seating arrangement was very comfortable.  The restaurant did not feel overly crowded nor was it stuffy even though it was a full house.  The servers were all Japanese and they were very friendly.

We definitely recommend you try it out if you were craving for Ramen after doing your downtown shopping.

SFDD gives 4 out of 5 Delights.

Ramen Danbo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ho Yuen Kee Restaurant - Vancouver

We were craving for some wonton noodles since it’s been a while since we been to a Cantonese style restaurant for lunch.  We thought of Ho Yuen Kee (HYK) along south Fraser street in Vancouver since they are known for there dumplings.

We got there late Saturday afternoon after 2pm and didn’t have to wait for seats as the lunch time crowd had already dispersed.  Their prices looked rather reasonable as various bowl noodles there can be had for under $7.

We ordered a wonton noodle pictured here:

The wonton’s were very large and plump. You get 5 of them with the noodles. The noodles were standard wonton noodles and had a good texture to it.  The soup was not overly salty.

Next here is the suigau (dumpling) with noodles.  A suigau is a bit larger than a wonton and has more pork inside and Chinese mushrooms.

The dumplings were very good and plump too.  The soup and noodles are the same as in the wonton.

We also ordered beef fried noodle:

The this was a big small. Kind of like the size you get at the mini happy hour menus at some Hong Kong style cafes.  It could have used some more wok power though.

Finally, HYK is also popular for their ginger milk dessert:

This had a deep ginger flavour and was also very smooth.  It is like a milk pudding or tofu dessert. This is definitely worth trying if you visit HYK.

The food was good but the servers were not that great.   When bringing the food to the table,  they dropped the bowls and plates hard and loud on the table and did not even announce what food they were bringing. We also thought the servers talked a bit too loud amongst themselves.  They mostly gossiped about their other coworkers which they should not have done with customers still around.

Anyhow, food good, service bad.

SFDD gives 3.5 out of 5 Delights.

Ho Yuen Kee Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

April 29, 2017

Ichiro Japanese Restaurant - Richmond

Ichiro is on the West side of Steveston Village serving authentic Japanese cuisine.  It seems to be run by Japanese servers and the sushi chefs look Japanese as well.  We haven’t been here for quite a few years since our last experience was just soso.  We brought out of town visitors here to try out so hopefully they have improved since then.

Cover of Ichiro’s menu. 

Their menu changed slightly from a couple of weeks ago when we passed by to look.  We asked the server and was told this is the new “Spring Menu”.  Most of the items and sets were the same.  The only difference was that all the prices shot up higher when compared to 2 weeks ago...

For starters we ordered a few different sushies.  On this plate are California roll, Dynamite roll and chopped scallop roll.

They cost a bit more than the other small takeout places.  Quality and taste wise, they were not bad nor spectacular.  At least the rice was cold which was good for sushi.

We also ordered the assorted sashimi trio.  It has salmon, taro and yellow tail. 

They were nice and thick.  One gripe was that the salmon had bones in it.  This was unacceptable for sashimi.  Even the all you can eat places we’ve been to in the past do not serve sashimi with bones.  We brought this up to the attention of our server and she was apologetic, yet mentioned it happens regularly.  Thus, you should be careful when ordering sashimi from this place.

Next was an assorted sushi plate with more California roll and various nigiri sushi.

Luckily no bones were in the sashimi. Overall it was quite fresh.

Next are the hot foods.

This is deep fried prawns in a spicy mayo sauce. The prawns didn’t seem to be coated with enough breading so it was not very crunchy.  The prawns were large but lacked flavor once you bite into the middle. Furthermore, the prawns just didn’t feel hot enough inside.

Grilled Squid: The taste was good except the squid was not tender enough.

Deep fried squid: This included some spicy mayo dipping sauce.  It was not overly fried and includes the squid tentacles as well.

Chicken Rice Bowl:

The chicken rice was odd because at the bottom there was lots of water.  This made the rice much too moist.  It was not overly flavorful either.

Eel Rice:

Eel rice was a bit pricey because of the eel.  The sauce was a unique sweet eel sauce, similar to teriyaki sauce.

Overall, the food quality was lacking.  Also, the food served here is very pricey and definitely not worth what they charge based on this visit.  We think some improvements need to be made to the food service before they can justify charging these prices.

SFDD gives 3 out of 5 Delights.

Ichiro Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

March 19, 2017

Chong’s Restaurant

Chong’s is located on the south side of Kingsway and Slocan.  We went there for dim sum a few times during February and were able to compile a nice sample of different dishes that we tried during our separate visits.

Their dim sums are value priced. Most are about $3.50 each.  Some congees are included on their dim sum menu too.  You can also order fried rice or fried noodle dishes for $8 which was value priced as well for the size that you get.  The restaurant is not very large so dim sum service will be busy on weekends.


Back of menu:

Prawn Dumplings were decent sized:

Steamed Pork Dumplings: My mom always orders this. I’m not a big fan as I feel most places make it with fatty pork right?

BBQ Pork Bun: Pork was lean and the steamed bun was nice and fluffy.

Beef Tendon: The flavor was good but the tendons were all too rough and chewy, meaning they did not steam it long enough to make it tender. 

Pan Fried Taro cake: This was so-so because it was not pan fried long enough.  Normally the outside should be golden brown.  Furthermore it did not have enough taro.

Stuffed Eggplant:  These were good as they were generous with the eggplant and they were cooked soft.

Dried Scallops and Egg White Fried Rice: Thumbs on on this as they did not overuse oil to fry the rice.  The rice was nice and tender (using overnight refrigerated rice) just as it should be.

Singapore Fried Rice Noodle:  The rice noodles were all broken to small pieces and it was not spicy enough.  Unfortunately the pork used was not flavored enough so it had a bit of an unpleasant ‘swine’ taste to it that was a bit overwhelming. Size wise it was big for $8.

Dried Fish and Peanut Congee: Their congees are quite superb. They do not use a lot of MSG and the congee itself had the right thickness to it.

Chinese Doughnut Wrapped in Rice Roll: It was about a half doughnut.  The rice roll was a bit too thick and chewy though.

Finally, Fried Mini Sesame Balls: These ones are hollow without any filling.  It was crispy but could have used a bit more sugar.

Overall the dim sum visits to Chong’s were pleasant.  Despite some of the dishes not up to par, you still get great value and get to try a variety of dim sum without breaking your wallet.  Don’t let the cheap price deter you because you get some pretty decent dim sum that is comparable to more expensive places.

SFDD gives 3.5 out of 5 Delights.

Chong's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato